on October 15, 2002
No Prayer for the Dying is Iron Maiden's 1990 follow-up album to the Seventh Son album, a hugely successful album. Steve Harris wanted to take a step back to the basics and produce more of a "Garage" type sound, instead of expanding on the huge and progressive nature of their last two albums, "Somewhere in Time" and "Seventh Son". Adrian Smith disagreed with this approach and left the band. Janick Gers was brought in, and indeed brought a much more raw and hard edge to the rhythm and overall sound. The contrast between Gers and Dave Murray on guitar is extremely big. The two styles are extremely different, almost two much so. Harris' vision is understood, but the result is a rather poor and lackluster effort from a band that we came to expect so much from. Not that it's a bad album in anyway, just not up to the calibur of their previous seven albums. The first three songs are actually pretty good. "Tailgunner" is this albums fast paced energetic opener, followed by "Holy Smoke" one of the two singles from this album, a very good song with a great back to back solo where you can clearly hear the differences in style of the two guitarists. The title track follows and is a more melow but good song, similar to "Children of the Damned" from the "Number of the Beast" album. The album now proceeds to descend into a series of songs not worth mentioning. Assasin is just not a good song, not up to Maiden calibur. It does, however, pick up towards the end with the last three songs. "Hooks in you" is indeed a catchy song, with a cool chorus, and characteristic creepy vocals from Bruce Dickinson. Great guitar work as well. "Bring your Daughter to the Slaughter" in next, and was the other single released. A very catchy chorus with hysterical lyrics. "Mother Russia" is a descent attempt to end the album with a Maiden characteristic epic finale, but it falls short compared to "Alexander the Great" or "Hallowed be thy name". In general, it's a good album as far as Rock and Roll goes, but the worst Maiden album up until that point.
on August 24, 2002
Iron Maiden's fans are a fervent bunch, but they have no gripes about attacking this album. They also have no hangups about ripping Janick to pieces. Sure, we all loved Adrian, but no one had a gun to his head telling him to leave. This album seems to be the one that split the fans right down the middle(or more like 70/30), and this is before Blaze came into play! I've been a huge Maiden fan since I was a kid(when Somewhere In Time was the most recent album). Maybe if I heard No Prayer..now I would have a different opinion of it, but I love it, what can I say? I guess it's only for really hardcore fans like myself. I'd say it's their version of Point Of Entry. It's a little more mellow and maybe not as catchy as previous albums, but I just love Running Silent...Running Deep. That one I hope even the most diehard hater of this album would find merit in. So, it you're considering purchasing this album, it's just going to be a gamble for you. If you love everything else they've done(early and later), then it's a safe bet that you'll enjoy this.
on August 14, 2002
No Prayer for the Dying marks the beginning of Iron Maiden's decline. Many theories have been proposed as to why metal's top band sunk into such a slump. Was it Adrian Smith's exit? Janick Ger's entrance? Or just an overall case of poor songwriting and uninspired ideas? I'll go for the latter.
In the wake of two monumental albums, fresh with a new vision and experimentation, Maiden decided to return to it's leather n' denim roots on No Prayer, shunning much of Seventh Son's lush synth soundscapes for stripped down song structures. No Prayer is the black sheep of Iron Maiden records, for it has no identity. Depending on how you listen, No Prayer is either Seventh Son Sr. (Fates Warning, Public Enema #1), or Fear of the Dark Jr. (The Assassin, Run Silent Run Deep). Many of Maiden's trademarks (sprawling epics, air raid siren vocals, and chugging basslines) are missing.
Tailgunner has the feel of something from Powerslave, but not the drive. No Prayer seems forced and often suffocates itself by not allowing breathing space for promising musical moments... (the Assassin)
However, a string of inspired, if drab tunes: No Prayer for the Dying, Public Enema #1 (personal favorite) and Fates Warning stands out as somewhat memorable, rescuing No Prayer from obscurity. Moments of brilliance during Run Silent.. and Mother Russia leave a Maiden fan thinking "what could of been...".
If yer a Maiden fanatic, get it. Otherwise, spend your money on Brave New World or the first seven.
on May 1, 2002
In a word, awful. This CD contains three decent hit singles in "Holy Smoke", "Tailgunner" and "Bring Your Daughter...To The Slaughter" and another catchy tune in the aptly-named "Hooks In You". Stupid and derivative lyrics and substandard musicianship aside (not that they play them bad, but these are songs where a band like Maiden can just "phone it in"), all are good enough to make you hum along with repeated listens. Too bad they're surrounded by turkeys like "Mother Russia", "Fates Warning", "Public Enema Number One", "Run Silent, Run Deep" and "The Assassin". The title track is acceptable, although it's basically the blueprint for "Afriad To Shoot Strangers" on the following album (and "Strangers" is better). And what's up with Bruce Dickenson's voice? He sounds like he's been gargling battery acid and chain smoking unfiltered pieces of tire rubber. I would call this the weakest album they've ever done.
Also, a comment on the revamped cover - why did they edit out the guy with the lantern looking into the grave? On the original cover, Eddie was grabbing the guy's throat. Now he just seems to be clutching empty air. Plus the coloring is drastically different between the two covers. Go to a used CD store and find the original (I guarantee there'll be PLENTY of them there) and see what I mean!
on April 7, 2002
I am just writing before all the other people start talking about what a horrible album this is. What is so horrible about it? Absolutely nothing. The production is great, you can hear every instrument just right. There is someone else on guitar with dave, someone who is crazy on stage, and has a very mean guitar sound, it isnt adrian thats for sure. It is the most highly underrated guitarist probably to date, mr. jannick gers. The song writing is powerful, really deep, and is based on alot of personal issues.
If you think this album is not very good, then you shouldnt be a fan of killers, the # of the beast, piece of mind, and powerslave. Because this is the exact same concept with those albums, only there is a different outstanding guitarist on ending of the golden years for maiden. This is a simple album, it isnt a very complex one, yet it is filled with power driving riffs, and greatness. Nicko's drums are unstoppable, bruce is very heavy, I can understand if some people do not like his singing in this, I dont think it sounds like there is acid in his throat, but is just very raw.
Harris delivers his intense songwriting and bass playing as usual. Every song on here is worthy to listen too, there are favorites but every song is enjoyable. Last note, for all of those who are jannick haters, lets see if you can play the solos from tail gunner, holy smoke, run silent, run deep, and bring your daughter to the slaugher. Just try to play these 4 solos, and you will see what im talking about. I have been playing guitar for awhile now, and I know that gers is an awesome guitarist, and clicks with dave so sensationally. Thats why they recruited this man, it should be obvious. Anyway, im ready to see how unhelpful my vote is, ect. Just wanted to try and prove a point, hopefully at least 10 out of 100 people will see my review helpfull,and to the rest of you who dont, just try to play gers's riffs, and really listen to this album better. Cause yes it is definitely up to the normal maiden standards. UP THE IRONS!!!
on August 16, 2002
I can clearly see what Steve Harris was thinking after the classic Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. Maiden was going towards a very progressive path, and had reached its limit in this field. It was time for a change. And by change, in this case, Harris tought of a back to basics approach: raw and straight to the point.
We all know now that Adrian Smith did not agree with that, and was replaced by Janick Gers, a guy that really can play raw. Basically, that's all he can do.
But what people did not know is that the "raw" sound pursued by Harris would result in the worst set of songs ever recorded by Maiden up to that point. They, without exception, have absolutely no merits. The album included one their worst songs ever, BRING YOUR DAUGHTER TO THE SLAUGHTER. HOLY SMOKE is also poor, MOTHER RUSSI is a ludicrous attempt to write an epic song in the veins of Rime and Alexander.
As for the new guitarrist, he can't be blamed for that, because he did not write any of them.
on August 25, 2003
Sensing the band had gone much too far towards a "progressive" direction, Steve Harris decided to go back to a raw sound. Ok. Adrian Smith left the band before recording began.
His replacement was one of those mysterious choices that will make you guess forever... Janick Gers. A guy who simply can't play a guitar solo with the same skill as Dave Murray, Adrian Smith or dozens of other British guitarrists (check the "butchering" that Janick does when playing Adrian's solos, live. Unbeliavable. He spends so much time jumping and kneeling and spinning that he simply don't play them!)
Anyway, NO PRAYER has a raw sound. So far so good, but there was no necessity to use such a lousy production, with a garage sound, adn stupid songs like HOLY SMOKE and BRING YOUR DAUGHTER. There are some gems here (HOOKS IN YOU still has Adrian on the credits), and TAILGUNNER. But even the great songs were ruined by the weak production and some of them by bad soloing.
on April 1, 2003
Iron Maiden's eighth studio album in 1990 is a huge decline. There's some good but there's some bad.
1. Tailgunner - a good, fast song, a great chorus 4.5/5
2. Holy Smoke - a great track, the first single has great lyrics how the religion is used to make money. 4.5/5
3. No Prayer for the Dying - more peaceful track but great lyrics, a very sad track. 4.5/5
4. Public Enema Number One - a good song but basic Iron Maiden style. 3.5/5
5. Fates Warning - not so good 2/5
6. The Assassin - most of time song is boring but the chorus is creepy. 2.5/5
7. Run Silent Run Deep - a good song lyrically but musically not so great. 3/5
8. Hooks in You - the worst song of the album, a terrible boring chorus. 1.25/5
9. Bring Your Daughter...To the Slaughter - the second single is made by Bruce Dickinson alone. Great lyrics, tells about girls... 4.75/5
10. Mother Russia - maybe a little bit too boring but the lyrics are fantastic!!! 3.25/5
on July 2, 2004
This was my first metal album, and i'm really glad it was. I think No Prayer for the Dying is a collection of the most underrated Maiden songs ever. Great songs like "Tailgunner", "No Prayer for the Dying", "Run Silent, Run Deep" and especially "Mother Russia" are severely underrated gems. "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" is the only song on NPftD that everyone seems to like, excellent song with a great chant-a-long part in the middle. I didn't like all the songs on this album first when i got this years ago. I thought "Public Enema Number One", "Fates Warning" and "The Assassin" were boring, and i almost hated "Holy Smoke" and "Hooks in You". I'm glad that these days i can fully enjoy those songs.
Great and horribly underrated album with lots of great riffs, drumming and choruses. I suggest everyone gives this album another listen, it deserves it.
on August 6, 2003
Well I loved all of the Iron Maiden stuff I heard before I bought this album, I could safely call myself a devoted fan. I heard this was supposedly one of thier really not so good albums. I'm one to give a great band a chance, so I bought it. The first couple spins I gave this album, I REALLY tried to like it and I just thought it was very bland and unenjoyable. I was ready to sell the thing, until it started to grow on me a little. Then it grew on me a lot, and I play this at least once every day. I can't get enough of it. My favorite track is the ultra catchy "Hooks In You" with the title track coming in second place. The only tracks that after so long have not caught on to me, and I still find to be not that great at all are "The Assassin" and "Run Silent Run Deep". So if you love Maiden's other stuff, give this one a chance!